1. Why do I collaborate?
Allright stop. The real reason I colab is due in large part to Vanilla Ice who urged us all to do so and LISTEN. Can’t believe I’m only one question in to this interview and already quoting Rob Van Winkle, but I’m not gonna lie, (when sick) while lying on my back, I’d memorize his rhymes then sing along with the track. My first collaboration with a bonafied rap superstar! All kidding aside, I do thrive in a supportive and safe partnership where artists are working with and off one another in rapid fire succession firmly footed in listening and responding. There’s both agreement and diasgreement, ideas that are rejected and respected with the added bonus of instant feedback, to help inform when you’ve really got something good or it’s absolute rubbish.
I’ve worked with the same guys for more than ten years and its still a joy, we know each other’s voice, the individual’s rhythms and as long as we are listening to one another, pieces we’ve done literally hundreds of times still feel fresh and exciting to perform. The sharing of work loads is a given and sometimes one person might be feeling it more than the others. And of course working in a group of three allows ample opportunity for building to a joke (rule of threes) and playing with crowd expectations. I occassionally like writing with those who may differ in their point of view on something where the writing process becomes an attempt to find common ground.
Sometimes CoLABoration can be science, getting the write words with the right number of syllables to fit and flow in the best way possible for a crowd, a DNA strand of where’s when’s and how. Other times it’s an unpredictable ride of sychronized wow.
If I could work with any other artist it would probably be my alter ego and archnemisis. Let’s call him/her/it Tocs…basically whomever or whatever is the antithesis of me. Sometimes out of struggle and conflict comes change. And thru this, great art can result. I’m curious to see what would come of this. Perhaps we’d wrestle instead of write and get nothing done, wrap battle telepathically while eating fajitas, spontaneously combust chops and rhyme travel toward Orange town or perhaps we’d reach a universal understanding and reinvent the spoken word wheel.
Not including the great Weird AL Yankovic who has always been a consistent source of inspiration to me, I’d love to collaborate with Salvador Dali (and attempt) to put his paintings into prose. Also, Charlie Chaplin while wearing a baggy blazer, too tight pants and an awkard beard.
Scottt Raven is the author of Sconnettts a collection of over fifty poems from first love to fiancé and everything in between.